Carlee Russell, an Alabama nursing student who gained international attention for faking her own kidnapping, has been found guilty on two misdemeanor charges.
The 26-year-old was charged with one count of false reporting to law enforcement authorities and one count of falsely reporting an incident. Both charges are Class A misdemeanors, carrying up to a year in jail and up to a $6,000 fine if convicted.
During a municipal court hearing on Wednesday, Judge Brad Bishop declared Russell guilty of the charges. The judge ordered her to pay $831 for each misdemeanor charge and $17,894 in restitution. She also faces up to a year in jail, according to the local CBS affiliate.
The incident occurred when Russell reported seeing a child walking along I-459 in Hoover, Alabama, before Russell went missing on July 13. She later claimed she had been abducted upon her return home two days later on July 15.
However, Russell later admitted that her report of seeing a child on the road and her claim of being kidnapped were a hoax.
Russell initially pleaded not guilty and has decided to appeal the court’s decision. Her attorney, Emory Anthony, explained that they are appealing because they disagree with the prosecution’s request for jail time.
“Under the circumstances, a class a misdemeanor, first offense. If you can find where someone was put in jail, just bring the file to me, and I’ll look at it. They are not put in jail, so we totally disagree with that,” said Anthony.
There is still no explanation of why Russell claimed to be kidnapped or where she was during the 49-hour search for her.